Manila prosecutor: Lack of transport, stenographers stalled filing of case vs curfew violators
MANILA, Philippines – Manila’s chief prosecutor has clarified that “Informations” against violators of the curfew ordinance were not yet filed as the city prosecutor’s office currently lacks personnel.
Manila chief prosecutor Joey Obejas said in a message relayed by the Manila Public Information Office (MPIO) on Thursday that stenographers have failed to go to work due to the absence of public transportation.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) over Luzon due to the COVID-19 outbreak has forced the temporary suspension of transportation modes like public utility vehicles and train services all over Metro Manila.
“First reason po ay wala pong staff/personnel sa Office of the City Prosecutor na pumapasok dahil po sa suspension ng public transport. Wala pong available na stenographer na gagawa po ng Information,” Obejas said.
“Pangalawa po ay wala din pong nakakapasok mula sa Inquest Division kaya hindi din po maitutuloy sa court ang filing ng violation ng City Ordinance po,” he added.
On Wednesday, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno asked residents of the city to heed the government’s social distancing measures against COVID-19, revealing that at least 16 individuals remain detained for violating the curfew ordinance.
Last Sunday, even before the whole Luzon was placed on ECQ, Moreno placed an 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew in Manila, to limit the spread of the disease.
According to Moreno, the 16 persons — 14 Filipinos and two foreign nationals — remain detained due to the absence of court personnel who can process the cases.
However, the Supreme Court clarified earlier that courts maintain a skeleton workforce that could handle the Informations, even if the high tribunal has announced measures against COVID-19.
Manila Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) Executive Judge Carissa Frondozo, said that no case for violation of Manila’s curfew ordinance has been filed as of now.
“So far, wala pang fi-nafile sa amin na kahit anong violation ng curfew ordinance. I’ve informed the city administrator na mali ang sinabi ni Yorme (Mayor Isko Moreno). He [City Administrator] will relay the message daw,” Frondozo said in her message to Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez.
As of Thursday, DOH said that there are 217 confirmed cases in the Philippines, 17 of which have already died. At least seven have recovered, while there are six patients who were allowed to go on a home quarantine mode.
The COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus that first emerged in China’s city of Wuhan in Hubei province in late 2019.
The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses named the novel coronavirus as SARS-CoV-2.
Coronavirus is a family of viruses, whose surfaces have a crown-like appearance. The viruses are named for the spikes on their surfaces. Worldwide, over 193,000 COVID-19 cases have been recorded, 7,865 of which have died. On the other hand, another 81,743 patients have recovered.
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